Self's Priority At WUG

  • "Let’s be very clear on something … Self just about blew it against Germany. He changed completely from the excellent approach he had in prior games in the second half. As I mentioned yesterday, he “puckered.” That happens.

    The fact is, we won. So his decisions are irrelevant to that issue now, and validated. When you win a championship, the decisions are validated. Everything he did is now “right.”

    ~ @HighEliteMajor

    Before WUG started, I was already wondering how Self would coach this tournament. Before WUG play, he made it sound like WUG was insignificant, and the whole thing was just a practice opportunity for our players in the coming season. He mentioned how ALL our players would get significant minutes, including Self and Manning.

    I have to admit… I was bracing for a poor KU showing.

    I should have known… Self will always be the “Riverboat Gambler.” Words come out of him and we never know if he is running a bluff or giving us code messages or just shooting straight off the hip. This is an aspect of his coaching that is under-appreciated, and usually not even realized. Self’s real name and identity is “Nick Corey”… the sheriff of Potts County in “Pop. 1280”… the classic Jim Thompson crime novel.

    But when it came down to the end… with Kansas one half of basketball away from leaving with a gold, I believe Self validated my assumption that he wanted to win gold, but he wouldn’t do it over giving his troops a needed lesson. There was only one lesson taught in Korea… “never stop fighting!” Self pushed his key players into a murderous schedule of PT minutes. He wanted them tested beyond any place they had ever been before. He accomplished this in Korea. By the end of regulation play, our lineup could hardly walk, no less play a competitive game of basketball.

    It is important for developing players to push the limits. They need to be put under heavy stress situations so they become familiar with these situations and learn how to be most productive when they occur. Regardless what anyone thinks, I’m convinced this will pay off for our key players this year, especially in March. Why? Because they will know they can push harder and succeed. They know not to give up in games. Continue to fight, even if you have had a bad game up until that moment. Continue to fight.

    I can’t believe we didn’t substitute more in the Russia game… and also the Germany game. How could Self feel good about keeping guys in the game that could barely even hold themselves up with their hands on their knees?

    So did the win mean a lot to Self? I don’t know. But what I do know is that Self wasn’t about to let WUG pass without teaching valuable basketball (and life) lessons. I know he is proud of his players for buckling down.

  • My only disappointments were not using zone or press more. I thought this would have been a great time to experiment with it.

    Overall I am not sure if the collapse from having a big lead against Germany was being out coached, making the incorrect change of style, a toughening moment, dead legs missing shots or just Germany getting hot from deep. All I know is Self and this team learned from this experience as a whole. My number one hope is that we learned from some of the competition…I hope we are watching tape all summer to learn some new international concepts to throw at teams all year long.

  • @drgnslayr Thought the same when Self said “everyone will play”, so I too didn’t expect much. That said, he’s a competitor (he confessed after winning the gold -> gotta play to win). Perhaps he himself didn’t know what to expect (6,000 miles away), so he played safe? He now wants more of “international games” according to JW. Curious to see how this experience changed his game strategy this upcoming season/tourney. if any.

  • @clevelandjayhawk

    The Germans scoring twice as much as their average from the 3 had something to do with it. Some of the teams at the WUG were real good, Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Brazil, France, Canada, Brazil, Serbia, Turkey just to name a few would likely be NCAA top 20, some would be top 10 or even 5. Team KUSA played some really good competition and took all it had to get the gold.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Canada? Didn’t we beat them twice in KC? I’m asking because I have no clue what teams were D1 Top20 caliber. Thanks Fan2.

  • @HawksWin You know, I was wondering this exact same thing myself. Which teams in that field would be at the top of any power 5 conference? Just to hazard a guess, Id say Russia and Germany are locks and maybe Turkey and Brazil and France. But thats it.

    If any one else has a more educated opinion than my own on that, I would love to hear it.

    And notice, I did not say The Top just at the top of any power 5 conference.

  • @HawksWin @HawksWin

    KU beat Canada at the Sprint Center in KC which is pretty much a home game and both games were pretty close with KU pulling away at the end. Canada lost to Russia in pool play and advanced to the top 8 round where it lost to Germany and France and beat Estonia to finish 7. Probably a marginal top 20 team.

  • I think we can make assumptions about where some of these teams might fit in D1, but the reality is they aren’t D1 teams. Many of these teams have several players that are currently playing in D1, but as a team, none play in D1 and I don’t think any of their coaches coach in D1.

    It has raised my curiosity how each of these teams would fair in D1 if they were thrown in there this year. I’m not sure, but outside of a few teams like Chile… it seems that KUSA was the shortest competitive team.

    I think Germany was one of the better coached teams, but talent wise, I think several were better… including Russia, Serbia and perhaps Lithuania. I thought the fact that they played one less game was a huge factor plus our main guys playing 35+ minutes against Russia.

    Pity this tournament wasn’t structured to put in one extra day before the championship game. It would have leveled the playing field to make it close to even. I feel sure we would have beat Germany by 30+. The fact that we won this game with guys that wasted is simply amazing.

    Compare us to the Germans. They finally tired out in that second overtime and you could just see them start to give up. Heck… they might have been at the same tired level we were at somewhere in the 3rd or 4th quarter.

    It seems that most of the teams we played had older players… but in most games, KUSA played more like men. I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case in this championship game, especially when we were starting to melt down in the second half. My gut was telling me we were done the second Germany took the lead. We have been in these situations before where we didn’t have the determination to mount a comeback.

    My overall rating for our WUG experience is A+! It will later be modified to A++ if we are get Devonte back and healthy for a big year!

  • Serbia had better guards than Frank and Devonte will face this year. Huggy will still have his press but after last year’s last second loss at WV and Lucas’s block at the Field House, these Jayhawks will be smiling if someone wants to press. I’ve seen more outlet passes during these 8 games than we had the entire season. Hudy should have a medal after playing Russia and Germany back to back. Even the NCAA tournament gives you a day off between games.

  • Overall the Euro players seemed to be more skilled shooters and because of the rules they are much more willing to bang than are many D1 players. Part of that is their being 2-4 years older. I have no idea where they are in their conditioning cycle, but but the people we saw were not nearly in as good a shape as was KUSA. Can this be attributed to their being more truly all star teams? Germany seemed to be the only team that didn’t wilt in the fourth quarter, but they played one game fewer than did the others.

  • @wrwlumpy

    I cannot think of another tournament, other than Summer AAU, where teams are required to play 8 games in 10 days…not the conferences, not the NIT and definitely not the NCAA. I don’t believe the even the NBA has that schedule during the playoffs since they have travel days off every couple of games.

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